Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Washington Square Diner, Greenwich Village, NYC

This #diner has been in business since 1977 and is located just down the street from Washington Square Park, which in 1889 to celebrate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as president of the United States ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a large wood and plaster memorial arch was constructed. The temporary arch was so popular that in 1892 a permanent arch made of Tuckahoe marble, designed by Stanford White, was erected. We are sure that many people who meet up in the park have wandered down the street to eat at this popular diner.

Monday, February 18, 2019

D’ Aiuto Bakery, Chelsea, NYC

D’ Aiuto Bakery on Eighth Avenue across the street from Madison Square Garden was best known for their “Baby Watson Cheesecake”. The #bakery opened in 1924 and 2nd-generation owner, Mario D'Aiuto took over the business from his father in 1977.

When we photographed the shop in 2008 for our book “New York Nights” we spoke with Mario who told us, “When I took over the bakery and decided to specialize in cheesecake manufacturing, my buyers persuaded me not to use the D'Auito name on the product because they said it was too hard to pronounce. So I chose "Watson" as an American name and added the "Baby" because "everyone loves babies". Nowadays, the Baby Watson Cheesecake is in such demand that we start baking at 4AM and bake around 40,000 cheesecakes a day and then flash-freeze them and ship them out worldwide. We use over 40,000 pounds of cream cheese and 3,000 gallons of heavy cream delivered every other day to make our cheesecakes.” •

Sadly the bakery ๐Ÿฐclosed in 2013 and the building was sold but the #storefront remained vacant and untouched (except for graffiti on its facade) for years. We learned however from our friend @rinaldit2 that its #neonsign has finally been removed. We are not sure what will be moving into the space but we can be fairly certain that it will NOT be an authentic family-owned Italian ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Bakery.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

P&G Cafe, Upper West Side, NYC

P&G Cafe, a family-owned bar on the Upper West Side was named In honor of the owner’s two sons, Paul and George. This beloved bar was in business from 1933 from to 2009. When we photographed the bar in 2004 for our book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York” we also interviewed the third-generation owner, Tom Chahalis who told us that “We have no business cards, no napkins, no matches. We don’t need them. Unfortunately, my lease is up at the end of 2008 and I’ll be forced to leave because the community leaders don’t really want to have a bar here. They want this street (Amsterdam Ave) to be another Madison Avenue.” We always loved this place and wonder what happened to the large neon Cocktail ๐Ÿธ Glass flanked by the words “Steaks” “Chops”.